Charles Krug is one of Napa Valley’s most storied wineries. It was founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, a Prussian immigrant who amassed a 540-acre estate before his death. Prohibition and phylloxera brought difficult times to the winery in the early 20th century, and in 1943 it was bought by Cesare Mondavi, an Italian immigrant. Mondavi turned the winery into powerhouse, but after his death his sons Robert and Peter famously disagreed on what direction to take the winery. The result was that Peter and his mother stayed on at Charles Krug and Robert Mondavi started a winery that was to become one of the most influential in California, and to some extent, the world. Today Charles Krug is still run by Peter Mondavi’s sons and it produces nearly one million cases a year, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.